Former Co-op building in Jedburgh receives another funding boost

The restoration of one of Jedburgh’s most prestigious buildings has been given a £80,000 shot in the arm.

By Paul Kelly
Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 9:11 am
Jedburgh Councillor Scott Hamilton outside the Port House. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)
Jedburgh Councillor Scott Hamilton outside the Port House. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

The Port House in Exchange Street, one of the town’s 130-plus listed buildings, was designed for the Jedburgh Co-operative Store Company in 1899 by Hawick architect James Pearson Alison.

Its metal-framed structure, large windows and “curtain walls” were unusual then, making it one of the most innovative buildings of its time and type in Scotland.

It has stood empty for more than a decade but is being restored thanks to the efforts of Jedburgh Community Trust.

The face-lift has now been bolstered after the council’s executive committee endorsed £80,000 in funding from the Scottish’s Government’s Place-Based Investment Programme.

The project is currently underway, with local contractor John Laidlaw and Son undertaking the majority of the work, which includes the redevelopment of the ground and first floor of the building for office and meeting rooms.

This latest allocation will allow the second floor of the building to be fully fitted out with a view to providing workshops and art studio space thereby making the whole building more attractive to potential tenants.

Jedburgh and District councillor Scott Hamilton, a member of the executive committee, said: “This is a further exciting investment in Jedburgh. The Port House is a project which is now moving at pace and represents a good example of the council and communities working together.

“This £80k will allow the second floor to be fully fitted and as a result will create more community wealth which is the aspiration of the placemaking policy at SBC.

“As I said at the executive meeting, we have never lived in a time where we have had so many challenges and yet so many opportunities. Challenges don’t need invitations but opportunities take a lot of work to bring to fruition and I am very grateful to all those involved for their efforts.”

The trust, formed in 2002, has been working with Historic Environment Scotland, the Scottish Historic Buildings Trust and Scottish Borders Council as well as the community council and tourism and marketing groups on the restoration project.